With everything that has been going on in the world, I’m sure we can all agree we are long overdue for a little self pampering. Finding the time to apply a face mask can be challenging, but those sporadic times that we do decide to pamper ourselves are usually well worth the hassle.
The right face mask can help hydrate the skin, remove excess oils, and help improve the appearance of your pores after just one use.
A good time to consider applying a mask is planning it around when you’re going to shower, as it can skip a step that you otherwise would have had to do if you decided to just do it by itself. This can be tricky though, as it will depend on the purpose of the mask and your skin type to know whether it’s best for you to apply the mask before or after you shower.
What’s the Best Time?
Most masks require you to have a freshly washed face in order for the mask to work its magic, so why not plan it around when you shower?
Planning it around when you shower allows you to skip a step whether it be washing it off or washing your face beforehand depending on if you do it before or after you shower.
The decision isn’t easy though, and whether you decide to shower before or after heavily depends on skin type and the mask that’s being applied.
1. Applying before showering
A mask is useless if you don’t wash your face beforehand because all it will do is sit on the top of the dirt, oil, and makeup that has been building up on your skin throughout the day. The upside to doing the mask before you hop in the shower is that the mask can sit on your face while you’re prepping and all you have to do is wash it off when ready to hop in.
Another method to consider is washing your face while you’re in the shower and applying the mask and letting it sit while you go through your shower routine. The problem with this method is that unless you have a mirror handy while in the shower, you won’t be able to see how evenly it goes on, and the water may interfere with the setting process of the mask.
The mask may also not be on the face long enough, as you typically can’t time how long it’s on while showering. Those with dry skin can choose this method as it will help seal in moisture from your mask and the shower since some masks can be drying. To prevent over-drying, it’s best to apply an emollient-rich moisturizer immediately after stepping out of the shower to help retain moisture as well.
2. Applying after shower
This technique may not seem the most convenient, since you just finished showering but this is the best technique when it comes to using deep cleansing masks for oily and combination skin, such as ones made from mud and charcoal.
Your pores are more open if you shower first and can almost mimic a spa facial as the water and steam allow the pores to open, thus preparing the skin for a better cleansing experience.
The Best Way to Apply a Face Mask
As we have now discovered, deciding on if it’s best to apply your mask before or after you shower heavily depends on what the mask is being used for and what your skin type is.
The following tips will work for whatever method you decide is best for you and will help to maximize the benefits of most any mask no matter what the use is:
- Use a cleanser to get rid of surface impurities
- Apply the mask in a thick or thin layer (depending on what that mask suggests) and be sure that it’s spread evenly throughout the entire face and/or neck
- Be sure to avoid eyes and lips
- If you use exfoliating masks, you may need to massage them into the skin for a few seconds before washing it off
- Wait for 10-15 minutes (or the time mentioned on the product instructions). Drying masks for oily skin are usually left on for a shorter amount of time, while hydrating and anti-aging masks should be left on longer
- Always rinse with warm water and use a soft washcloth to remove all traces of the face mask
The Mask Menu
Finding a good face mask can be almost as challenging as getting yourself to apply the mask itself, but there’s no need to stress because we have some amazing mask suggestions for you. Here are a few of our favorite face masks and products to try that will bring the spa home to you.
- Obagi Professional-C Microdermabrasion– reduces signs of aging, such as dull complexion, fine lines, and wrinkles
- SkinCeuticals Emollience– great moisturizer for dry and sensitive skin and best used for skin types using the before showering method
- SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque– Reduce redness caused by outdoor activity or dermatological procedures, and soothe skin discomfort or sensitivity. Perfect for a de-stressing treat throughout the week that will leave your complexion smooth and radiant.
- SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque– this light leave-on formula delivers a high concentration of vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid for supple, smooth skin regardless of your skin type, for a boost of deep hydration.